He was nominated to replace Julian Genachowski as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission a mere six weeks ago, and before he's even got the job, Tom Wheeler's making headlines. Ars Technica reports that would-be chairman Wheeler wants what many (all?) cell phone owners want -- the ability to unlock our phones free from fear of legal retribution. The way he sees things, when folks have bought and paid for their phones and are contract-free, they "ought to have the right to use the device and move it across carriers." Unfortunately, while he's staked out his position on the matter, he has yet to say exactly how he plans to make phone unlocking legal, be it through legislation or other means. The good news is, he's not the boss just yet, so he's got time to address those niggling details while he waits to be confirmed as the new chairman.
Source: Ars Technica
The E3 and WWDC news surges have finally calmed, so now we're back into the normal weekly groove. This week, Ben details his time using an Oculus Rift to watch recorded video and Richard attempts to ride out E3 as long as possible with our roundup. All that and more is ready to stream straight to your ears below.
Producer: Joe Pollicino (@akaTRENT)
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To use NVIDIA's graphics technology, you've typically had to buy gadgets using NVIDIA chips -- good for the company's bottom line, but not for influencing the industry as a whole. The firm is expanding its ambition today with plans to license some of that technology on a broader scale. Beginning with the Kepler architecture, other firms can use NVIDIA's GPU cores and graphics-related patents for their own processors and chipsets. The deal could affect a wide range of hardware, but it mostly pits NVIDIA against the likes of Imagination Technologies: a system-on-chip designer could integrate a Logan-based GPU instead of the PowerVR series, for example. While it will be some time before third-party silicon ships with NVIDIA inside, it's already clear that the company's in-house design is now just one part of a larger strategy.
Today we had a chance to play with Qualcomm's latest MDP devices (tablet and phone) which pack the company's mighty Snapdragon 800 SoC (MSM8974). The tablet is slightly larger than last year's MDP and features a 11.6-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel display, 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, 32GB of built-in flash storage (with microSD expansion) and a 12 megapixel AF rear camera with flash (2MP in front). All of this is crammed into a slim (0.46 inches / 11.7mm) chassis that's powered by a 3400mAh Li-ion battery and incorporates a bevvy of radios (LTE, WiFi ac, Bluetooth 4 LE, GPS, NFC) and sensors (including pressure and humidity).
The phone shares most of the tablet's specs but swaps the screen for a 4.3-inch panel (1280 x 720 pixels) and the battery for a smaller (1500mAh) pack. We put the Snapdragon 800-equipped MDPs through their paces by running our usual suite of benchmarks (plus a few more). The results? Prepare for ludicrous speed. More after the break.
Gallery: Qualcomm S800 MDP phone screenshots
Gallery: Qualcomm S800 MDP tablet screenshots
Gallery: Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MDP devices
King projected the Candy Crush Saga logo onto a San Francisco sidewalk during a recent promotional event.
(Credit: Screenshot by Donna Tam/CNET)
Anonymous sources told the Journal that King, through its holding company Midasplayer International Holding Co., has talked to several banks including J.P. Morgan Chase, Credit Suisse Group AG, and Bank of America to carry out its initial public offering, or IPO, in the U.S. This means King wants to sell shares of its company to public investors.
While CEO Riccardo Zacconi has mentioned an IPO as a possibility before, this report signals that the company could be getting serious about the move. But, the deals could still fall through, the sources warned.
For its part, King is not commenting on the report, according to a spokesperson for the company.
"King's success and growth presents numerous opportunities for the business to develop further, and one option would be to take the company public. However, while it's an option for the future, we woul... [Read more]
Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that it took down 1,400 Citadel botnets with the help of the FBI, and now Ballmer and Co. have divulged just how big of an impact the effort had. According to Richard Domingues Boscovich, the firm's Digital Crimes Unit assistant general counsel, the operation freed at least 2 million PCs across the globe from the malicious code -- and that's a conservative estimate by his reckoning. It's believed that more than $500 million has been stolen from bank accounts thanks to information gleaned from keystrokes logged by computers afflicted with the software. Though the chief botnet organizer is still on the loose and many machines are still burdened by Citadel, Domingues Boscovich says they "feel confident that we really got most of the ones that we were after."
[Image credit: Edmund Tse, Flickr]
Filed under: Microsoft
When using your Mac, active programs, documents, and system resources will be loaded into memory (RAM), where they can be accessed quickly to run and perform computations. While active memory contents are maintained in memory, the system also keeps some recently used but inactive processes and data there in order to quickly revive them, if needed.
These memory allotments should be managed dynamically for optimum performance, but some people who regularly run low on RAM may be concerned about this and resort to using "RAM cleaning" programs. One of these is the "purge" Terminal command that is installed along with Apple's Xcode developer tools. If you find yourself regularly using these programs, then you might wonder whether this is necessary -- and even healthy for the system.
MacFixIt reader Paul recently wrote in with such a question:
I have only 4 gigs of stock RAM, and the possibility of upgrade in future. Clearing up my RAM cache in terminal by running "purge" at least once a day is getting frustrating. Is it a must to open up terminal and/or to run a purge? Last time I checked it showed about 800 megabytes of usable RAM. Also, is it safe to use the machine with less than 800 megabytes RAM, without any harm to the computer?
Having a low levels of free RAM will not harm your system at all, and will only reduce its capacity to open more items. However, if you are regularly running low on memory, even though programs like "purge" may show a... [Read more]
Dell headquarters in Round Rock, Texas.
The special committee of Dell's board managing the computer maker's effort to go private rejected the latest takeover proposal put forth Tuesday by activist investor Carl Icahn as lacking key details necessary for its approval.
Earlier Tuesday, Icahn proposed in a letter to shareholders that Dell buy back 1.1 billion shares at $14 as an alternative to the plan to take the company private proposed by company founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners. Icahn also announced that he had purchased 72 million Dell shares from proxy fight partner Southeastern Asset Management, making him the second largest shareholder in Dell.
"Mr. Icahn's concept is not, in its present state, a transaction that the special committee could endorse and execute," the committee said in a statement.
The committee went on to say that Icahn's proposal lacks adequate financing, as well as a remedy for the company and shareholders if the transaction failed to be consummated. Icahn's proposal also doesn't adequately address liquidity issues and other risks highlighted before, the committee said.
- ... [Read more]
One of the great things about "smartphones" is that they are awfully hard to lose. There are countless apps that will help locate your phone from Timbuktu to Tippecanoe County. (And oh, how many times have I wished I could call my keys or wallet to find them?) However, if your ringer is on mute, finding it when it's wedged down in the couch cushions requires a keen ear for the buzz of vibrate mode.
Or, if you are a rational Android user, you will download and install the free Android app SMSAlarm, which offers the simple yet essential option of texting your phone a secret message to elicit a loud alarm.
The app is about as simple as you can get, and that's how I like 'em. There are four options in the program: "Activation SMS" allows you to choose the specific code that will trigger the alarm when texted to your missing phone; "Vibrate" is a yes/no option that determines whether or not the phone will vibrate as well as ring when the SMS alarm is triggered (it will not override your Messaging settings); "Alarm duration" lets you set the length of the alarm, from 5 seconds to 2 minutes; and "Test" simply demonstrates what the alarm will sound like when activated.
There's no alarm customization, and it's pretty loud, but better too loud than too soft. I would expect any future versions of the app to address... [Read more]
What will iOS 7 look like on an iPad?
A new iPad iOS 7 video (see below) surfaced Tuesday from a Russian-based YouTube user named Rozetked who claims to have the upcoming OS running on his iPad. In the video, the user holding an iPad taps and swipes through different screens and features.
- PIP biosensor makes you relax to win games
- iOS 7-ready game controller hardware spotted
- AT&T adds wireless emergency alerts update to iPhones
... [Read more]